What Is Gorilla Hair Mulch and When Should You Use It?

Gorilla hair mulch. No, it is not some poor worker’s job at the zoo to pick up the fallen hair from the gorillas. And no, they don’t pluck it directly off the gorilla itself. In fact, it is not actually gorilla hair (shocking I know!).

Let’s take a look at what gorilla hair mulch (or GHM for the purposes of this article) actually is, and when you should (and when you shouldn’t) use it for your next gardening project.

what is gorilla hair mulch

 

What Is Gorilla Hair Mulch?

GHM is made from the bark from redwood and western cedar trees that has been finely shredded. This produces a fibrous, coarse-textured mulch that looks like – yep, you guessed it – gorilla hair!

What Gorilla Hair Mulch is Used For

Gorilla Hair performs much the same functions as other mulches:

  • Block Weeds
  • Keep moisture in the soil and slows down evaporation
  • Holds soil in place due to its fibrous, mat-like layer

Benefits

This unique mulch has a number of benefits, some of which are not common and it can be useful in some areas that are traditionally difficult to mulch.

Decomposes slowly

Do you like mulching? No? Me either. Well this mulch is long lasting. It decomposes very slowly and you will not need to replace it for several years.

It also fades very little over its lifespan, so it will keep your garden looking like it has just been freshly mulched. Nice and tidy!

Forms a Dense Mat

This mulch works by forming a dense mat that covers the soil. There are a number of reasons why this is good:

  • It keeps the soil moist and slows down evaporation
  • Because of the mat this mulch forms, it is especially good for sticking to sloped areas. If you have had problems with mulch staying on a sloped area in the past – try GHM
  • It is especially good for windy environments – the mulch simply does not blow away
  • More difficult for birds to kick out of your garden!

Pest Control

Cedar bark (one of the materials that gorilla hair mulch can be made from) has proven to be a deterrent for a variety of pests including:

Cons

As with any product, there are also some things you should be aware of before deciding to use it.

Flammability

This mulch is quite flammable and should not be placed in an area that may be exposed to open flames or even cigarette butts. Check this detailed study to learn more.

Can Trap Water

If you apply this mulch too thickly, then it can form a mat that is too dense for even water to get through. This means that your soil will see none of that lovely rainwater and it will simply get trapped in the mulch itself.

How to Apply Gorilla Hair Mulch

Gorilla Hair Mulch is applied much the same as most other mulches you may have used in the past.

It works on almost any plants and is especially good for US natives.

There are two points to be aware of:

  1. Apply to a thickness of no more than 2-3 inches (about 6 cubic yards per 1,000 sq ft is perfect). Otherwise, the mulch will actually stop water from reaching the soil
  2. Keep the mulch a few inches away from the base of trees and bushes, or may encourage rot
  3. If you are mulching the side of a reasonably steep hill, then throw down some Jute Netting first. This will hold the soil in place and give the mulch something to grab onto.

If you need a mulch calculator, there is a great one available here: https://www.landscapecalculator.com/calculators/mulch

Where To Buy

Gorilla Hair Mulch Can be purchased from the following stores:

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